Santana was in rare form last spring, The Early Show's Mark McEwen reported, having spoke to him at the Arista party.
Here are excerpts of their exchange:
McEwen: "When you made the album, did you know in your bones it was going to take off the way it did?"
Santana: "I knew three or four years ago. I knew we had a masterpiece in our bellies. And I'm talking about a masterpiece of joy. Because when people listen to it, junior high school, high school, university (age), younger than that, parents and grandparents, when they listen to it, they get a joy."
"I was talking about this with Mr. Bill Cosby. And we were discussing how it's very difficult to get into the car with your teen-agers and listen to the same music. But they don't have a problem with Supernatural.
McEwen: "When you heard that song, ("Smooth,") for the first time, did you know that was going to be what it turned out to be?"
Santana: "It sounded, from the very first time I heard it, it sounded like a Santana summer song. And, you know, Santana summer song is the homework's in, all that stuff is in, it's party time."
"That's the mark of good music or good intentions, when you make people forget about the fear and the separation....We're all one on this planet,...one love, Allah supreme. The more to the media we can promote the gift, not the giver - don't promote me, it ain't about Santana - it's about the gift. And the gift is something you have, Bryant has, all of us have. It's called love and grace."
McEwen: "People in my business are calling you the comeback kid this year. From where you sit, what does that phrase mean to you?"
Santana: "Well, it's like when they say Jesus is coming back. He never left, you know? To me, it's the same thing. Anytime you see people showing compassion, kindness, mercy, Jesus is here. Buddha, Krishna, Allah,...it's all one to me. But I have never left. It's just that people are jsut discovering something, something that is really important about us, which is we are spreading a spiritual virus."
McEwen: "One-word answer: Best time of your life right now?"
Santana: "No, the best is still ahead. When we play for Mr. Nelson Mandela or Mr. Desmond Tutu, then it'll be the best for me."